Happy New Year!

Hello friends! It’s a brand-new year and I am HERE for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love beginnings. New year, new month, new week, new day. Love them all.

I’m also a morning person. Give me a cup of coffee and a Monday and I’m usually grinning from ear to ear. Why? Because I love the energy you find even in the quietest of mornings. Because I love the promise and hope in starting something new or picking up on a favorite project. And because in a way, it’s a return to “Me Time” ๐Ÿ™‚ The rest of my house is back to work and school. The house is quiet, if you don’t count the hum of the dishwasher, the rattle of the dryer, and the cats and birds chirping at one another through the open window.

I cherish my “Me Time” and am trying to make the best of it. Routines work well in general for my family, but they are really effective for me when my “To Do” list seems to have grown so long that I’m tripping over it some days. This is going to be a ridiculously busy year for us – especially as a PCS / military move year – so I’m working on BALANCING my time as much as I’m working on making the best of it.

To keep myself honest, and to let everyone know who’ve been asking what I’m up to, here are my goals (ever ready as always to adjust them as I go) for 2022:

1. Health – This year my overall goal is maintaining my exercise routine and doing better with nutrition. Keeping it simple. Exercise makes me feel better, makes me stronger, and reduces stress. I’m going to eat what makes me feel good and fuels my body and allows me to do the things that I want to do. My goal is to be mindful and take care of myself, so I can continue to take care of my family.

2. Family – Well, where do I even start? Keep everybody happy and healthy. Be busy and “on it” when they need it; be still and “present” when they need that as well. Prep our family for the PCS. Help support my husband in what is going to be an intense year for him. I had a friend recently ask me what I was most proud of this past year and my heart went right to my kids. This past year was roooooooough with their daddy deployed, but you know what? They finished the year a thousand times happier than they started it, and that fact alone made me feel like I rocked the year. So as always – simply get up each morning and do my best. Don’t hate on myself when I make mistakes (Thank you to my first-grade teacher Ms. Hockman for this reminder. I found it tucked away inside a piano book of carols that I pulled from a dusty bag of sheet music for my son at Christmas this year. <3). Always be open to listening, learning, and ready to adjust to what each person, and our family as a whole, needs. And even though it’s not easy, to remember to enjoy the many blessings of this MOM and MIL SPOUSE life โค

3. Writing – ๐Ÿ™‚ Well there are still a few things hanging in the air that will make an unbelievable difference in what I am able to do with my writing (especially when it comes to research) this year (hello, waiting on those military orders….). The one thing that ISN’T up for question is that I am WRITING. What am I working on? Several things honestly, and since I’ve been asked a few times, I figured that I would tell a bit about each.

a) An untitled sequel for The King’s Sword. (The snow here in Kentucky this week sent me soaring back into the mountains and landed me squarely in Avelina’s boots. What would she think of the snow beneath her feet? Just how much of that snow will there be? How harsh are those winters? How did people survive in the mountains in the 15th century? How will they at Metzlingen? Especially with everything that is happening around them . . . Hello, glorious research rabbit holes . . . <3)

b) An untitled novella detailing Reymund’s story up until the opening of The King’s Sword (From the farm, to the Kloster at Maulbronn, to the king’s court, to the battlefield at Guinegate, Reymund’s story is one that I know in my heart needs to be written. It may remain one story, or split into two, especially considering the characters involved . . . Either way, the first scenes brought me to tears when I was writing them.)

c) Short stories / potential novellas / sub-plots / “heaven only knows but I’m writing them” stories concerning individual secondary characters who have been extremely chatty and forthcoming with their own stories. Which ones? Well, at this point, if they’re talking to me, I’m typing. Every family has a story and each person a part within it for sure ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s interesting how it works with them; I just never know what will trigger someone to speak. For instance, I’m always on the hunt for research materials. A few weeks ago, a certain book that I’d been hoping to find for a long time was suddenly available, so I quickly ordered it. Flipping through the pages when it arrived, I was so inspired, and it came to me how it all fit together – why it was important and to whom and how it all fit into Metzlingen. So this week, after working on a scene with Avelina, Beatrix, and Rose, I started writing out Michel’s story, and how the loss of someone close to him will bring him to his life’s greatest ambition.

This is what I love about writing. It’s very much my happy place – where my “Me Time” and my creativity intersect. Where it’s both calm and quiet, but chaotic and colorful, as I’m discovering where all these ideas and characters will lead.

Everything is piecing together, bit by bit. Line by line. Not so much a puzzle; much more so a tapestry, with each story line weaving in, out, over, under, and through each other as the picture becomes clearer and I make sense of it all. I’m excited about it. Thrilled, honestly. And I CANNOT wait to share with you how things shape up in the days and weeks to come โค

Thank you for reading! Let me know what your goals are for the year in the comments if you’d like ๐Ÿ™‚

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